Veda McNair, a life-long educator, retired Wayne County Public Schools principal, and Wayne Community College trustee, has officially received the 2021 I.E. Ready Award, the highest honor bestowed by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges.
After delaying the 2021 State Board Awards dinner due to the coronavirus pandemic, the board recognized the winners during an in-person event on May 19 at the North Carolina Executive Mansion. In addition to honoring McNair, awards were presented for President of the Year, Excellence in Teaching, Staff of the Year, and Distinguished Partners in Excellence awards.
At the event, McNair was lauded by former WCC President Thomas Walker Jr., WCC President Patty Pfeiffer, and North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees President and CEO Julie Woodson. She was presented a trophy and corresponding medallion by State Board of Community Colleges Vice Chair Bill McBrayer.
The I.E. Ready Award was created in 1983 to recognize those who make significant contributions to the establishment, development, or enhancement of the community college system. It is named for Isaac Epps Ready, the first state director of the North Carolina Community College System.
McNair is known as a crusader for community college education. She has served on the WCC Board of Trustees for more than 15 years, has chaired the board, and has played a role in the selection of three presidents. She currently is the board’s vice chair and chairs the board’s Curriculum Committee.
In addition, McNair spent 10 years on the executive board of the North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees and co-chaired its Quality Training/Seminars Committee. A frequent panelist at statewide meetings, McNair spoke at the 2019 Leadership Seminar, “Stopping Community College Stigma,” which was turned into a nationally-broadcast podcast.
McNair is a retired kindergarten-grade 12 educator who served in public schools for more than 40 years. She is a former Wayne County Principal of the Year and was a regular presenter at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Closing the Achievement Gap Conference. She continues to offer her time and talents as a high school success coach for Communities Supporting Schools of Wayne County.
McNair is only the second community college trustee to receive the honor while serving. She joins Herman Porter, George Fouts, and Martin Lancaster – honorees with WCC connections – and other educational luminaries such as Dallas Herring, William Friday, James B. Hunt Jr, Terry Sanford, and Robert Scott.